Home & Garden

New Front Yard: Lantana lights up dry garden

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.

Trailing lantana

Lantana montevidensis

Size: Under 2 feet tall.

Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall.

Pruning needs: Little or none; prune back in winter.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.

Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.

Snapshot: Bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects love lantana. This species of the popular drought-tolerant shrub grows out instead of up. Native to South America, this trailing form of lantana forms a flowery carpet as a ground cover or can spill over retaining walls. With a trellis or other support, it can be trained as a vine to grow “up,” too. With a strong fragrance, the flowers smell as good as they look. From spring through fall, it’s covered with light purple blooms. Hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, trailing lantana is more frost-tolerant than upright shrub varieties. It may drop its leaves in late fall and appear to die back, but will quickly grow fresh shoots in spring. See specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum’s Argentine Collection on the UC Davis campus.

• For more on the New Front Yard, click on



Debbie Arrington

More online

See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/home_garden.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee